You have most likely heard of the Porsche automobile, and possibly you have even ridden in one or possibly own one. But you may well not know where the Porsche actually came from. With the story of the Porsche vehicle, it is hard to say what the true beginning was. The earliest car to be known as Porsche was released in 1948, and in 1950 Max Hoffman brought the Porsche 356 to the United States. Then again, to get a full comprehension of the Porsche and its mystique, we have to return to the year 1875, which saw the birth of a son to the local tinsmith of Haffersdorp, a village in Bohemia.

He was named Ferdinand Porsche, and even though his technical genius had not been thought to have the necessary discipline for the skills of engineering. At age 25 he soon began being an automobile producer, his only formal education having been a part-time stint as an engineering student inVienna. He was totally brilliant as an engineer, but his erratic temperament meant that he didn’t stay with any employer and eventually he had worked for all the leading car makers in Germany. A dozen of the most technically significant vehicles of all time were designed by Porsche. Whilst employed by Mercedes-Benz, he was included in developing the SSK series, which is regarded with awe to this day.

Porsche launched an engineering consulting group, eventually known as Porsche AG, after having to leave Mercedes. He couldn’t get along with their own engineering policies, so he was dismissed. He developed a team with some engineers he cherry-picked, with a special interest in racing cars and sports cars. Their skills were in high demand, with the high end sedan from Austria, the Steyr, being one of their projects. The furthest the application had gotten was to the prototype stage. Auto Union, who later evolved into the present-day Audi, were the first to produce cars that had front-wheel drive and were relatively cheap to own, and they also called on the skills of the Porsche consulting group.

The V-12 engine, in addition to the V-16, which were supercharged, were developed by them for the mid-engine Grand Prix racing cars. Auto racing in Europe seemed to be dominated by them for close on 10 years, along with the Mercedes-Benz racer. A while after that, NSU and Zundapp equally used their best-known designs. Some well-known Porsche protoypes were the torsion-bar suspension, patented by them, and the rear-mounted engine. Neither company produced the concepts fast enough for Porsche, so he made a sale of the concept to the German government. His particular design had been manufactured in a factory at Wolfsburg, that he oversaw the construction of. As part of his drawings he called it the Type 60, but it became what we all know as the Volkswagen Beetle.

The automobile industry continues to be significantly impacted by the efforts of the Porsche engineering firm for over a 100 years now. He and his family have certainly granted a permanent and often unique contribution to the design and engineering of the automobile.

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